BORIS Johnson agreed that it would be “grounds for dismissal” if one of his ministers was found guilty of sexual harassment.

Green MP Caroline Lucas raised that 56 MPs are "under investigation for sexual misconduct" by a parliamentary watchdog, including three of Boris Johnson’s cabinet ministers and two shadow cabinet ministers.

Lucas later corrected her statement to say that 56 MPs are "facing" claims, according to reports made in the Sunday Times. 

It comes amid public outcry at misogyny directed at deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner in a Mail on Sunday article where a Tory MP accused her of crossing and uncrossing her legs - like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct - in a bid to distract the PM at the despatch box.

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And, earlier on Wednesday, reports emerged which claimed a Tory frontbencher watched pornography on his phone during a session in the Commons chamber.

Johnson was pressed on the number of complaints made to the The Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) for investigation, a parliamentary body set up in the wake of the MeToo movement.

Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, asked the PM: “Fifty-six members of this house are under investigation for sexual misconduct, and that includes three of his Cabinet minsters.

“The Prime Minister has just rightly said there can be no place for sexism and misogyny in this house, so can he now confirm whether he considers that sexual harassment unlike bullying and lying is grounds for dismissal under the ministerial code?”

Johnson replied: “Of course sexual harassment is intolerable and it’s quite right that members should now have a procedure that they should bring that to the attention to the House authorities, and I think that’s a good thing, and of course it’s ground for dismissal.”

The 56 MPs have not been named, but it is understood the ICGS is investigating 70 separate complaints dating back to 2018.

Aides to Johnson insisted the Tory party did not have a problem with misogyny and sexism.

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The Prime Minister’s press secretary said: “You will have heard the PM address this explicitly in Parliament today and over the last few days, saying there is absolutely no place for such behaviour and this cannot be tolerated in any workplace.”

Asked whether watching pornography at work was a sackable offence, she said: “I am not aware of the disciplinary action. Obviously, it is wholly unacceptable behaviour and it is being looked into.”

The Tory whips office are now investigating the claims, adding that the behaviour of watching pornography in the House is “wholly unacceptable” and insisted action would be taken.

Labour have said that it should be a “sackable offence”.

The National: Lucas later corrected her statement regarding the 56 MPsLucas later corrected her statement regarding the 56 MPs

As MPs returned to the Commons after the sitting was suspended, Lucas corrected her earlier claim that 56 MPs were under investigation for sexual misconduct.

She said: “At PMQs today, I said that 56 MPs were under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct. I should like to correct the record.

“I realise now what I should have said is that, according to a report in the Sunday Times, 56 MPs are facing claims.

“There is a difference between a complaint being investigated and an investigation of the MP in question, and I wanted to make that distinction clear.”